There are many ways to judge the health of a society. The speculators
in the European Bond Markets judge the health of nations by the state
of their public finances; socialists and trade unionists point to the
way that old people and children are treated and especially the position
of women in society. Economists look at the volume of imports and
exports and at the rate of economic growth. One measure looks at the
scale of inequality within society.
While between 2 and 3 million struck in Britain, in the North of Ireland about
200,000 people took part in the Public Sector strike action on 30th
November. Schools and civil service offices were shut, as were job
centres and council services. Rail and bus services were non-existent.
Union members held marches, pickets, and rallies throughout the country
over the issue of pensions. The main rally took place in Belfast city
centre, where around 15,000 gathered and several thousands spread
over Craigavon, Omagh, Armagh, Ballymena, Derry and other towns.
Workers have not only been balloting for action in Britain but also in Northern Ireland, where the Tory-led Coalition's attacks on pensions will also apply if carried out. Fightback - the voice of Marxism in Ireland - reports on the ballot results in the North.
Last Thursday’s by election in Dublin
West came down to a three horse race between Councillor Patrick Nulty of
Labour who won and Councillor Ruth Coppinger of the Socialist Party who
came third, while Fianna Fáil (FF) squeezed into second place after a
tie for second and third place – on the basis that they had more first
The decision of the Secretary Of
State to revoke Marian Price’s release from prison has been met with
widespread opposition from the Republican movement. The justification
given was that the threat that she poses has “significantly increased”
and that she had been encouraging support for an illegal organisation
based on her involvement in an Easter comm